Stockholm region bans fossil fuel adverts

The region of Stockholm has adopted Sweden’s, and Scandinavia’s, first ban on fossil fuel advertising. From January 2026, residents of the capital and other municipalities in the most populated region of Sweden will no longer have advertisements for fossil fuels and “fossil-powered products” imposed on them, in a ruling that covers the entire public transport system, including buses, subways, regional trains and ferries. 

The decision results from the region setting high climate goals and the logical consequence that the use of fossil fuels must be phased out. “It is therefore in line with the county’s (sic) sustainability goals to limit advertising for fossil fuels and products that contribute to their consumption,” the region writes in its decision.

The measure comes after a review of the advertising guidelines for public transport in connection with an upcoming procurement process looking to 2026. In the new guidelines, the region’s Traffic Administration has set conditions that ban advertisements for fossil fuels and “fossil-powered products”, such as cars with internal combustion engines. In the same policy, the region also bans advertisements for betting and gambling. 

In a precedent setting move, the decision is highly likely to be followed by others. Discussions are currently underway about similar decisions being taken in both Gothenburg and the city of Stockholm (under separate administration). At the same time, in a country where winter sports are both hugely popular and under threat from global heating, there is a growing concern among organisers of snow and ice sport venues about accepting sponsorships from carbon intensive companies such as fossil fuel companies, car manufacturers and aviation. 

Although a big step forward, the decision stopped short of challenging competition legislation which had the effect of exempting ‘services’, such as passenger transport, as the restriction only applies to “fossil fuels and fossil fueled products”. One result of this is likely to be that advertising for climate-killing air travel will still be allowed. So this represents progress, but with more work still to do.

You can read the Stockholm region’s decision document here (in Swedish).

Anna Jonssen

Anna Jonssen is co-founder of New Weather Sweden.

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